Following the brutal death of 49-year-old Rajkumar, who was passed away following police torture, Idukki police chief KB Venugopal, who is facing allegations in the case, has been transferred. Venugopal has been made Superintendent of the Anti-Terrorism squad, according to reports.
The Kerala government has appointed Malappuram SP T Narayanan in Venugopalâ€™s place as Idukki SP. Senior officer Abdul Karim will take over as Malappuram Superintendent.
During investigations into the incident, Sub-Inspector of the Nedukandam police, KM Sabu, had revealed that Rajkumar was in illegal detention for 4 days before his arrest was recorded. He also added that this was on the instructions of Idukki police chief and other senior officials.
Rajkumar was a remand prisoner accused in a loan fraud case where he allegedly cheated over 30 self-help groups and scammed them for their money.
As per Sabuâ€™s statement, it was SP Venugopal who issued a directive to question Rajkumar for two more days to locate the money. He also added that Venugopal said that the Range IG, too, was aware of Rajkumarâ€™s custody. Kumarâ€™s photo was also sent via WhatsApp to the SP and other officials.
The SP had contradicted this claim, stating that he was unaware of Rajkumarâ€™s illegal detention. Two of the accused have already been arrested following Crime Branch inquiry into the custodial death. This includes Sabu and fourth accused â€“ a police driver named Sajeev Antony. Two others â€“ an ASI and another police driver â€“ will soon be arrested in the case. According to a remand report submitted by the Crime Branch to the Peermedu judicial first class magistrate, the four police officers had inflicted Rajkumar with acute torture.
Rajkumar was subjected to the infamous Falanga method, where the soles of a personâ€™s feet are continuously beaten. The remand report also added that the police had rubbed chilli on Rajkumarâ€™s private parts. Four of his six ribs, as well as the sternum, had been broken, according to the post mortem report.
Also read: 22 injuries, 'Falanga' torture used: Shocking autopsy of Kerala custodial death victim
Rajkumar died on June 21 after being brought to the Peermedu hospital. His co-prisoner even accused the officers of denying drinking water to an extremely weak Rajkumar. Following the incident, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had ensured that no culprit would go scot-free in the case.